THE CRIME OF THE MILLENIUM
As news breaks of the recent UNDEMOCRATIC appointments of heads of governments in Greece and Italy, I am reposting this “prescient” news item by Alessio Rastani made on September 29th.
The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it’s everywhere. The world’s most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money. In fact, the history of the recent financial crisis, which doubles as a history of the rapid decline and fall of the suddenly swindled dry American empire, reads like a Who’s Who of Goldman Sachs graduates. Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone.
Yesterday’s post was centred upon the issue of the UNDEMOCRATIC placement of unelected technocrats to head the governments of Greece and Italy, and the dramatic effects that will have on democracy as we know it. The amazing story that broke today in the French newspaper Le Monde, traced the employment history of Lucas Papademos, (Greek Prime Minister), Mario Monti (Italian Prime Minister) and Mario Draghi (Head of the European Central Bank) and found that all 3, until recently worked for, or have been in partnership with, GOLDMAN SACHS.
This “revolving door” employment philosophy popularised in America, has seen public service emplyees drafted into private positions and vice verse, as far as economic theory goes it means a standardised financial outlook in both the public and private sectors. The most interesting facts pointed out in the film clips is the fact that Lucas Papademos was head of the Greek Central Bank when Goldman Sachs was advising the Greek Government on how to hide their massive existing debt prior to entering the European Union. Now universally considered as fraud, the issue of Greek debt has had the world economy on a knife edge for most of this year, and has shattered the lives of thousands of Greek and European citizens.
Matt Taibbi’s expose of Goldman Sachs and their part in the major economic downturns over the last 100 years is even more insightful now as we move into the final act of this farce, if it wasn’t so serious, with human lives and well being at stake it would be laughable.
As Greece, Italy and the European Central Bank appointed new leaders in the midst of the worsening Euro crisis, observers rushed to find something that might link the cost-cutting crusaders. And it seems the scrutinisers have found a connection in the form of Goldman Sachs. The new president of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, Italy’s new prime minister, Mario Monti, and the new Greek prime minister Lucas Papademos all reportedly have the US investment bank as a common denominator. And those links have prompted some humorous exchanges and conspiracy theories on Twitter, where some are convinced that Sachs “rules” Europe.
White House correspondent John Gizzi was among those who made the observation on November 16 as Papademos and Monti moved to secure votes confirming their leadership:
Greek PM Papademos & the “Super Mario Bros.” (Draghi.at ECB & Italian PM Monti) all worked for Goldman Sachs at one time or another
Draghi was vice-chairman of Goldman Sachs in Europe between 2002 and 2005, while Monti has been an international adviser to the bank since 2005. Papademos was governor of the Greek Central Bank between 1994 and 2002. Blogger Paul Feldman labelled the latest appointments a “corporate-driven coup”:
When trader Alessio Rastani told the BBC that “governments don’t rule the world, Goldman Sachs rules the world”, jaws dropped in the news room at his brazen candour. Seven weeks later, Rastani is looking more right than ever. The global investment bank’s advisors have in the past week taken control of the Italian and Greek governments, replacing elected administrations with faceless economists, academics and bureaucrats. These events are nothing less than corporate-driven coups in the heart ofEurope, through which the financial markets have demanded and got the heads of government on a platter
One blog, called the “Liberal Conspiracy”, said serious questions must be asked about Eurozone democracy:
What Draghi, Monti and Papademos also have in common is that they are classically trained orthodox economists who have spent a good part of their lives working for the European bureaucracies and banks that have bought about this disaster. These so-called ‘technocrats’, bought in to calm the markets, are not proposing alternative policies.
Instead, they are proposing a policy formula we know doesn’t work: massive cuts in public expenditure and the welfare state, along with regressive tax rises, can only ever harm demand and growth, drive unemployment, increase inequality and economic insecurity, weaken monetary sovereignty and eventually lead to the removal of fiscal (tax and spend) powers.
Meanwhile, talk of breaking up the banks, regulating them more effectively or even imposing a tiny financial transaction tax remains, largely, talk.